The Adventure

by Rhonda, October 04, 2022

Do you remember when I told you that I felt God stirring in my heart for a new adventure? 

I just haven't been able to shake it.  I want to be used by God in new ways, I long for a break from the routine.  I need something that takes the focus off of me, and onto others.  I want to be less, well, selfish and self-focused.

I've been absorbed by the war in Ukraine since it started.  I'm closely tied to that part of the world. My kids were born in Russia, and I've spent a considerable amount of time there.  When the war began, I couldn't stop watching the news.  I would stay up all night, obsessing over the latest developments.  After a while, I had to force myself to stop.  I was becoming sleep-deprived and anxious, all over things that I could not control.

I may have turned off the television, but as we all know, the war has continued.  I'm not in a position to do much, but I do have a home that has extra bedrooms.  There are Ukranians without homes who need somewhere to go, and someone to care.  More than that, they need someone to help.

So, in a step of total bravery (and probably unlike me, if I'm honest), I put myself out there to sponsor a family.  It wasn't easy.  I was afraid of bringing someone in my home that may harm us, or more likely, may simply not align with our values.  I was fearful, so I prayed and asked God to stop any connection that wasn't His will.

It wasn't long before we were connected with a family.  We arranged for the first video call, and let me tell you, all of our fears are completely gone.  For the past week, we've consistently had video calls with the most lovely, sweet, and yes, heartbroken family.  They've lost it all in this war.  Their business was destroyed, their home was destroyed.  But they will tell you, "It is only money.  We are alive and we are together."

They don't speak the language here, and they are unfamiliar with the way of life here.  Yet, they are so excited to come.  They are excited because they need to safe as a family over the next few years, after experiencing nothing but devastation.  They need a place that feels peaceful, that allows them to heal from the trauma of bombs and missiles.  They are, after all, starting over.  

I know I don't have nearly the trauma this sweet family has experienced.  But, I'm starting over, too.  I have finally decided to let go of the past and see what God has ahead of me.  I've filed divorce papers after three years of separation.  I've asked God to help me move forward into what He has planned for me.  I've told him I want to walk along the path He's designed just for me.

Psalm 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.

When I prayed this prayer, I thought perhaps He might lead me into another relationship.  I don't feel ready for it, and I really have no intention of getting remarried.  But, I decided to be open to whatever God brought into my life next.

I had no clue, and I mean no clue, it would involve a Ukranian family whose lives were destroyed by war.

I met them the same week I filed divorce papers. In fact, I was connected with them the next day.

God wasn't kidding when He told me He had a full life ahead of me if I would stop living in the past.  I know it sounds crazy, but I am so excited.  I wake up thinking about them.  I go to sleep thinking about them.

Ever since meeting this family, our home has changed.  My kids are as excited as I am.  Now, our evenings are filled with plans for making their living space as nice as possible.  Neighbors have donated beds.  Friends have offered clothes.  Co-workers have even offered to help pay for an apartment.  I had no idea our little community would show so much support.  

We spent this evening repainting a dresser someone donated.  "I wonder what the children's favorite colors are," we mused.  We wondered what kind of movies they like, what kind of games they play.  We are learning more about them daily, and we enjoy planning for their arrival tremendously.

My stress levels have gone down dramatically.  What seemed important in the past has faded into the background.  Now, my focus is on the Ukranian family, and ensuring they have what they need in a horrible time of loss.  Somehow, this giving away of myself and my home, has led to a joyful home of my own.

I wonder if this is what God means when he says His path leads to joy in His presence.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

I can't wait to be used by God.  Our adventures are only beginning, I know this now.  As his plan unfolds for our lives, it will be anything but boring.  But, if I'm honest, I think all of us in this house are ready for it.  We're ready to help others and live for something besides ourselves.

Let's do it.

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